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A Pet Peeve

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I feel compelled to write about this huge pet peeve of mine because I see this happening all the time. I see press releases, signs, blogs and Christmas cards with these mistakes. People think that when they add an s to a word, they have to pop in an apostrophe every time. Not so!

Improper usage:

The Perry’s live here

Happy Holiday’s

Local Author’s come together for benefit

Go Ute’s

Cd’s and DVD’s for sale

It happened in the 1970’s

Proper usage:

The Perrys live here

Happy Holidays

Local Authors come together for benefit

Go Utes

CDs and DVDs for sale

It happened in the 1970s

Apostrophes are possessive. For example you could say, “This is the Perrys’ house.”

Now, there is some confusion about contractions and possessives when using apostrophes. I think people may switch up it’s and its because of this.

“Its” is possessive. “It’s” means it is.

Improper usage:

Its time for lunch.

The door lost it’s hinges.

Proper usage:

It’s time for lunch (yippee).

The door lost its hinges.

I realize I’m not perfect. There have been mistakes in many of my scripts, either because someone else transcribes it incorrectly, or I just type too fast and push send before proofreading. But I’m working on it, and I would appreciate it if Americans would try to get a grasp on English as well.


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Mary Richards


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